It’s Day 26 of the Kirby Art Tribute, suggested/sponsored by Howard Simpson. You can find the work of those participating on your social media platform of choice by using the hashtag #KirbyArtTributes.
Today’s prompt is Captain America and Bucky. Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Timely (Marvel) back in the Golden Age, they had a huge hit on their hands. While Captain America and Bucky are mostly thought of as being patriotic heroes who fought the Axis, I discovered something interesting on re-reading their early tales: with all the monsters etc. they went up against, Cap and Bucky’s stories seem to be very much inspired by the “weird menace” pulp genre. If you think about it, the Red Skull and how they wrote him at that point would’ve fit in very well in a “weird menace” pulp story. Which is why I opted to make this a night scene.
Joe and Jack only did the first ten issues of Captain America Comics, after which they left Timely. They believed that publisher Martin Goodman was not living up to their profit-sharing agreement, so they jumped over to DC where they created a slew of characters like Guardian and the Newsboy Legion, the Boy Commandos, and their versions of Manhunter and Sandman.
Jack had two other runs with Captain America. The second one was in the ’60s, after Timely had turned into Marvel and “StanandJack” was often treated as if it was one word. That run had something of a James Bond/secret agent feel, having Cap working closely with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. Jack’s third run was when he returned to Marvel in the mid-’70s, and that was him working solo that time.
An aside: Captain America wasn’t Joe and Jack’s only shot at a patriotic hero. In the ’50s, they also did Fighting American and his sidekick, Speedboy. An interesting aspect of that strip is that it started off as a straight anti-communist superhero adventure, but then pivoted fairly rapidly into a very funny superhero satire, pre-dating the camp craze of the ’60s.
That’s it for today. Feel free to pop by again tomorrow!